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Stars in alignment

Doug Bruce in trouble with the law, no nuclear plant in Pueblo, and now our pound of Osama bin Laden's flesh, on the same date Hitler was killed. I think this shows a true moral structure to the universe. Maybe the pendulum has stopped, and may very well go back in the other direction.

Then again, I'm in the unreal expectations business. I'm jaded, only in reverse.

— Craig Severa

Colorado Springs

Let's not rejoice

I can't celebrate murder. Instead, I am ashamed and saddened that my government chose an illegal and immoral path, rather than acting within the law, to bring one man to "justice."

I wonder how they will continue to justify wars that have cost trillions, resulted in the deaths of 6,000 American soldiers and hundreds of thousands more civilians, sanctioned the imprisonment and torture of suspected terrorists, and terrorized Afghan people with 10 years of aerial bombardments, night raids, death squads, assassinations and drone attacks, adding to the suffering of a country where 850 children die every day and millions more live with the fear of starvation.

What is there to celebrate? Who has benefited? Have we defeated terrorism or created deeper hatred toward the U.S.? As Gandhi said, "An eye for an eye will make us all blind." We have truly lost our sight if we believe that hatred and violence will bring peace and security.

— Susan Gordon

Colorado Springs

Free debates, please

It was hyped as The Main Event (and all along I thought that was a car sale held at the World Arena). Monday, we had yet another opportunity to participate in the election by observing the mayoral candidates in debate. That is, if one was willing to cough up 10 bucks for general admission. It's ludicrous to have to pay any amount to view a political debate.

The Independent's own Ralph Routon suggested we "pay attention to what happens in the remaining public appearances." Monday's debate was probably the last opportunity most folks would have had. If one was willing to pay. No one should have to pay any amount to participate in the process of selecting our first strong mayor. Do you suppose there will be a small "fee" for ballots in the future? What if, in the next presidential election, debates were on pay-per-view?

The sponsors included Operation 60ThirtyFive, a pro-responsible-development organization; Middle Market Enterprises, established by Peak Venture , which "contributes to the success of midsize companies by engaging their executives in an exchange of relevant ideas" (MME "consists of 125 chief executive officers of organizations with over $5 million in annual sales or over 50 employees." Peak Ventures is a "non-profit dedicated to enhancing the success of emerging entrepreneurs and established middle management executives"); plus the Colorado South chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

All worthwhile organizations, I'm sure. (I wonder how many of your readers have heard of them?)

Why an admission fee? Did the sponsors want to have their own debate, exclusively for the hoity-toity? There are times to charge admission, i.e., individual candidate fundraisers, but please, not during the actual process of selecting our next mayor. It stinks!

— Dave Ruetschilling

Colorado Springs

Bach's the one

I have known Steve Bach since 1982 and urge you to vote for him for mayor of Colorado Springs. Steve served in the military, received his masters degree from UCCS and has been a successful business executive in this city for over 30 years.

We as taxpayers cannot afford to let our city go the way of so many other cities around the country that are rapidly heading toward bankruptcy. We need a leader that has proven himself in the business world and knows how to manage the bottom line. The local economy has been somewhat sheltered the past three years by the growth in federal government spending. We are most likely at the end of that gravy train and more likely will see future cuts as opposed to more growth.

What we need now is a person that can help our current employers grow and help recruit new firms to the city. We need private-sector jobs and Steve has promised to make job growth his No. 1 issue.

I know he will work tirelessly to keep the cost of government down and to grow this economy.

Steve is a founder of the Business Climate Initiatives Group, BIG, which focused on helping existing employers prosper and overcome regulatory hurdles. He understands how hard it is not only to create a job but also how to keep those jobs in place.

Please join me in supporting a proven business leader as the next mayor of Colorado Springs.

— Craig Anderson

Colorado Springs

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Ignore the AFP ads

Richard Skorman is the right man to lead Colorado Springs into the future. He has experience, vision and passion for our city.

The negative ad campaign funded by Americans for Prosperity has begun against Richard. Don't be misled by the words you hear. They are negative, insulting, misleading, and untrue. Don't let dollars from this outside special interest group influence your choice. Your choice shouldn't be determined by this group, which has been investigated on several issues regarding past campaign donations.

Americans for Prosperity has no interest in the future of Colorado Springs. This election is most important in terms of economic development, jobs creation, and sustainable government for the future. Richard Skorman is the person to lead Colorado Springs to the type of city its citizens have envisioned for the future. Make your choice based on facts, not negativism, misleading statements and untruths. Please make your choice Richard Skorman.

— Margaret Garrett

Colorado Springs

Young adults' pick

In the short time I have lived in Colorado Springs, I have had the distinct privilege to work with some of our community's most exciting, intelligent, and motivated residents. Last fall, I was part of a group of committed young professionals who raised over $15,000 for Urban Peak Colorado Springs and established two "Start! Walking Paths" for the American Heart Association. One of the greatest outcomes of our time together was creating a shared vision of our city's future.

Many will tell you that we need more young people to choose Colorado Springs as their home because they add energy, perspective, and longevity to our community. These same people can rattle off dozens of reasons why young people don't stick around, but few will propose solutions to fix this issue. Based on my recent experiences I know the answer is clear — give young adults a larger voice in our city's future.

Our city is fast approaching an historic moment that will determine Colorado Springs' short-term success and long-term sustainability. For our city to arise from its current economic straits, stronger than ever before, we must elect a mayor with experience, leadership, and vision. The next mayor needs to believe our city's success hinges on tapping into the skills, talents and abilities of our growing young adult population.

Richard Skorman understands the need to engage our young adult population. He understands the value in promoting civic involvement early in adult life and has realized our untapped potential. As our city's first strong mayor, Skorman will ensure our collective voice is heard. We will be included in the critical conversations and have the opportunity to make a difference in the future of Colorado Springs.

— Duncan Forbes

Colorado Springs

 

Statistical maneuvering

For anyone paying attention, the last three editions of the Independent have provided an excellent lesson in how statistics can be manipulated to enhance any argument.

First, David Cay Johnston ("Sham I am," cover story, April 14) argues "the rich" don't pay enough in taxes, relative to "the poor." Space does not allow for point-by-point rebuttal, but his use of selective information is ubiquitous.

Bart DePalma responds ("Johnston's wrong," Letters, April 21), citing percentages showing "the rich" pay a significantly higher percentage of total revenue than "the poor," relative to income.

Then ("Johnston's retort," Letters, April 28), Johnston's argument of relative percentages is reiterated, and the "Bush-era tax cuts" are mentioned. With a little research, anyone can access the total federal revenue for any given year. Doing so, one will find that revenues increased after the tax rate decreases in the Bush, Reagan and Kennedy administrations.

The use of relative percentages is a disingenuous statistical device. Johnston (April 28) writes that in Colorado in 2007 the poorest 20 percent paid 9 percent of $11,400 in taxes, while the richest 1 percent paid 4.2 percent of $2 million. He deduces that the poor bear twice the burden of the rich. Of 9 percent of $11,400 ($1,026) or 4.2 percent of $2 million ($84,000), which pays for more of the government services that "progressives" are so fond of?

— Wes O'Dell

Colorado Springs

Defending La Zingara

After reading the review for La Zingara ("Little Italy," Appetite, April 28), I wanted to ask the writer if she has a vendetta for people wishing to start a business in this economy! The review is screaming, "I am out of my comfort zone here, let's see if I can ruin this business so I won't have to go back!"

At the Independent, you know how it feels trying to get a business up and going, through much of your hard-earned blood, sweat and many tears, only to have a reviewer spewing negatively throughout the whole column.

There is a way to write a column using words of encouragement, keeping hopes alive that the restaurant keeps trying. The writer states she has never been to the restaurant, has never tasted the food prior to this and has pre-conceived ideas as to what the restaurant should be, how the food should taste and how the owners should personalize the experience.

I think the writer is "serving leftovers out of someone else's kitchen"! Your writer should learn more humility and write about people in our community taking a huge step making a name and business for themselves. She should get out a little more and get some fresh ideas.

— Tricia Sexton

Monument

Be nice to Amy

Wow. Amy Alkon (Advice Goddess) must have touched one of Karen Emanuelson's nerves based on her scornful letter ("Down on Alkon," April 28). I'm sure there are lots of other readers who find Amy's column well written and full of astute and amusing advice to people who dearly need to hear it.

Sorry, Karen E., if you saw yourself reflected on the business end of a sharp response in one of Amy's columns. But you are in a very small minority, I would guess, as Advice Goddess is always one of the first things we turn to on Thursdays!

— Mike Clow

Colorado Springs

Trump's achievement

Donald Trump, the multi-millionaire media whore on the Tea Party/birther bandwagon, should be thanked for being involved in the destruction of the GOP of 150 years ago, a party which, beginning with Lincoln, was at times a credible opponent to the other mainline party; a party that could articulate reasonable, responsible and fiscally conservative positions as an alternative choice to running this country and solving the problems which we, the people, all the people, have as the United States of America.

Now, the divide is not between the opposing political party platforms: It's between the haves and the have-nots; between the Hispanics and the white Republican Sharron Angles; the Koch brothers-supported Wisconsin governor, Scott Walker, and rights to collective bargaining for police, firemen and teachers; and, of course the publicity-hound Donald Trump and our, yes, our first African-American president.

The very people, the very heart of the Tea Party, are being exploited by the radical, right-wing drivel of Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and of course, Rush Limbaugh, who don't care for the mostly middle- to poor-income listeners except as their revenue-producing base. Shame.

Wake up and let our second-term president, Barack Obama, lead us out of this mess created by the deteriorating GOP. If you want the "grand old party" back, then become grand again.

— Francis Nickle

Colorado Springs

Texas has the cure

As a lifelong Republican, I am deeply embarrassed by the Palin-, Lamborn-, Bachmann-type influences in our party. The GOP has been on the wrong track for many decades.

The Dems must be similarly disillusioned with a president who won't close Gitmo, retains the Bush-era tax breaks for the super-wealthy, and is budgeting unprecedented increases for defense while committing to a third non-war.

Oddly enough, the hope for the future is rising out of Republican Texas! This financially astute, socially conservative, pro-choice, anti-war champion of the middle class wants to abolish the Internal Revenue Service and bring all our troops back home. He is the only sane choice is these trying times. He is Ron Paul.

— Kenton Lloyd

Colorado Springs

The last days

We're still looking for Yeti, but we've abandoned SETI (the search for extraterrestrial intelligence). It's OK, they're definitely out there, so why look? We've no hope for a space program of any kind; what do we need aliens for? We're definitely not ready yet anyway...

Besides, the end is nigh! Either on May 21 or late 2012. Or whenever. They'd have to dodge a lot of space junk just to find they wouldn't be allowed in Arizona, and they'd have to mop floors in Texas to stay on the planet legally, and where would they get health insurance?

Sometimes I think the reason we can't find evidence of aliens is because they're laughing so hard they can't aim their stuff here. It's probably a galactic sport, their dwinkle shakes so hard when they're laughing that they can't hit the side of a dorklab with their grimdung. It's a popular show they call Laughing at the Stars.

— Steve Suhre

Colorado Springs

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